Design of a Lightweight Aluminium Cast Crossmember 2002-01-0678
The continued need to reduce fuel consumption is pushing car manufacturers to weight reductions. In parallel, the clear consumer desire and commercial advantage for good passive safety imposes other constraints. The need to reduce mass and maintain excellent passive safety is particularly true for the front axle and its crossmember.
The aim of the study was to design a lightweight crossmember which could replace a stamped steel fabricated assembly. A technical and economic study showed that the most cost efficient concept was a cast aluminium component. Therefore, the design and validation of a large cast critical part had to be addressed.
This paper will describe the numerical simulations that have been used for the crash behaviour and for the other requirements. In parallel, simplified crash test procedures have been developed to evaluate the crossmember alone. Finally, a vehicle level crash test validated the performance of the crossmember.